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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    wnc
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    Default What do you think?

    Neighbor got sick and property sold last winter. I got permission from new owner to get old hives. They had not been taken care of several years, and some of these dated back 50 years old. There were several supers that could be salvaged, but I ran across this.....Hive had fallen at least 4 or 5 years ago. Still has bees flying thru gap between deep and supers. I would like to try to capture them. My thoughts were to gently clean up around the hive, place a strap around the hive, smoke them as good as I can and then tighten up the straps. Duct tape any gaps and try to load them in the same horizontal position in the truck to bring them home to work on. Guess It will be a cut out as after this long everything will be cross combed I expect. Supposed to rain tomorrow and cannot get truck there when wet so it will be a week or so before I can get to them again. Think this will work? Should I do this in the day or try to wait to evening to capture as many of the foragers as I can? From traffic today it would seem to be a small colony. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Harrison Ar
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Awesome.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    beaver county pa usa
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    265

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Any hive that has been neglected and is still surviving is worth saving There is a reason they survive without help. I would get as much ready during the day for the move then wait until dark and go for it. I know I would try to save it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    964

    Default Re: What do you think?

    You've got a tough call there. There's a lot of holes in those old boxes, you don't know what the ground contact has done to the "bottom sides" and trying to strap & tape them might turn into an exercise in futility. Might consider leaving new woodware on site today, walking in later to do a cut out and picking up everything when convenient.

    Be sure to share some pics as you go through it
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  5. #5

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Pretty cool deal. If it were me, ratchet strap vertically, hopefully that will hold it together enough to tilt EVERYTHING up enough to get a piece of plywood (same size as the hive) under it. Then place another on the face, ratchet strap around both pieces of plywood, like a hive sandwich, and then you should be able to move it all in one piece into a workable location.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: What do you think?

    I would expect those boxes to fall apart of you try to move them.
    Put new equipment on top with drawn comb, to entice them out of the old boxes. Once they have started moving into your new equipment then slowly remove bits and pieces of the old boxes.
    Zone 7a. 14 horizontal hives, 6 nucs

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: What do you think?

    well, that's a new take on a horizontal hive. isn't it? I think by now the bees would have corrected the orientation of the cells on the frames.
    Your plan seems pretty good, but that wood looks badly weathered. The top 3 walls might hold up to moving the hive, but I agree the bottom wall is quite possibly part of the topsoil now. Suit up and take a poke around at ground level to learn how badly rotted it is. YOu might be able to carefully tip the whole thing to one side just a bit, enough to slide a piece of plywood underneath it to act as the new bottom. Then strap it down and take it home to work on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: What do you think?

    I like the idea of trying to move in one piece then do a cut or trap out at your convenience and comfort. I'd suggest having a couple of pieces of plywood, excavate and slide one under, one over, strap underneath and over and try to lift. Don't be surprised if the whole thing crumbles though, maybe held togeth with comb.

    Peridically see posts about ants invading hives, I'll bet you find some very interesting kritters in there cohabitating happily with the bees. :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    wnc
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    90

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Thanks for the suggestion about the plywood. I will cut a couple of pieces in the morning, and carry them and a deep box in tomorrow. Sunday may carry another deep and a top & bottom. Will try to get everything ready before I start.

    Thought you might like to see some of the hardware from the other boxes.

    Homemade inner covers.



    And the oddest queen excluder I've ever seen. All of the hives had these.


  10. #10

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Has to be a lot of fun going through all of that old stuff and seeing the uniqueness of how they did things.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by HillBilly2 View Post
    And the oddest queen excluder I've ever seen. All of the hives had these.
    How do you think it worked?
    Zone 7a. 14 horizontal hives, 6 nucs

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    1,185

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by HillBilly2 View Post
    Looks more like a feed shim than a queen excluder...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Jackson, Ohio (SE Ohio) USA
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Looks like a lot of my woodenware. :-) My mentor is a third generation Beek and has a barn full of stuff like that. I purchased some new, built some bodies via rabbet joints, most he just gave me. Required tightening a few nails, scraping, painting, etc. which I had no problem doing. Some of the old stuff is oak or poplar. You think a full honey super is heavy, try one of these when full.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default Re: What do you think?

    Looks like he thought "outside the box."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Wise county,Texas
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: What do you think?

    If I was blessed to be given that, I think I'd treat it like a cut out on the spot. I'd start in the afternoon, secure the queen with as much brood comb banded in new frames and let the bees find the queen, most should be in with her by dark, then I'd close it up and take it home, or leave it be and come back in a couple days and take it.

    Those boxes "might" make it to the truck strapped, but what if they crumbled on the drive home? You could loose a possible great survivor queen.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: What do you think?

    I would do a cut out on the spot, and not be in a hurry about it.
    Set up the new equipment next to it, and as you go through one box at a time and tie the comb into frames, put it in the new equipment. As soon as you get the queen moved over, they will adopt the new box, and rob out the old stuff.
    If you have brood left in some of the old boxes, the nurse bees will hang with them till they hatch, then move into the new box to follow the queen. I would cut out one box every few days or so to let them adjust.

    Very cool discovery. I'm going to guess that it might have been recolonized a time or two, but the bees won't be able to tell that.

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